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By Larry Cassidy | Friday, May 27, 2011

Larry Cassidy currently has forty-two Group 1 successes behind his name. He is a multiple Premiership winning jockey having taken out three titles in Sydney and one in Brisbane. Larry’s View, the personal blog of this top class rider will appear on horseracingonly.com.au every Friday, workload permitting.

Well, it was a case of close but no cigar for me last Saturday when I finished second on both Dr Ichi and Listen Son in two of the Group races contested at Doomben.

Dr Ichi finished second in the Group 2, Champagne Stakes. He is a really nice horse. He missed the run a week before (when scratched from a wide alley in the race won by Benfica) and I thought he had some sort of chance in that race although I don't think he would have beaten the winner.

Dr Ichi showed he was certainly up to them with his run on Saturday. I think he will take a lot of improvement from that, because he pulled up pretty big. He will improve fitness-wise.

Second sometimes is the best you can do when you are racing against a Peter Snowden trained runner. Benfica and then Free Wheeling this week … the Snowden stable just keeps producing these two-year-olds in winning form.

The horse that beat Dr Ichi (Free Wheeling), he is probably a fifth-stringer. They haven’t even brought their best ones. That’s how strong they are.

As far as Listen Son goes, he is a horse you have got to ride positive. You have got to find a happy balance. You’ve got to try to rate him just right. You can’t go too slow on him and you can’t go too fast, obviously.

Funnily enough, although Listen Son is a seven-time winner he has never won at Doomben. He’s won one at Toowoomba and the rest he has won at Eagle Farm.

I think the reason for that is he doesn’t quite get a soft lead at Doomben. It is a smaller track and in big fields they jump and, even though you might lead by a length or so, they are on your hammer the whole way, whereas at Eagle Farm they are happy to sit off you and he can get those couple of soft sectionals.

Inside the last 200m on Saturday I knew we’d done a bit of work. We’d probably gone a fraction too quick, but when you are still in front with 75m to go you start thinking you might just get there.

I suppose he got beat easily in the end. It was a fantastic win by Woorim. He is an incredible horse the way he can reel off those fast, final sectionals from ten lengths off them.

Woorim probably has the right credentials for a horse aiming to win the Stradbroke. It is a very fast, tough run race. He settles back and he can produce a powerful finish.

He can reel off fantastic sectionals even off a moderate tempo, but the Stradbroke is always run at a good clip which will suit him.

The only thing that will bring his undoing is a wet track. Woorim is way more effective on top of the ground.

By contrast, his stable companion Buffering … my ride in the Stradbroke …well, he is going to put himself on the speed. He can handle any sort of track and he can still run off reasonable sectionals from the front.

In saying that, you can take that comparison further and note that Woorim is a great, big, strong horse whereas Buffering is still a young horse.

As you saw on Saturday Woorim just moved some runners out of the way when he needed to. It would be very difficult for Buffering to move something out of
the way because he is only tiny.

I don’t think we are going to see the best of Buffering for another six months. He is going to get better.

Whatever happens, Woorim and Buffering give the Heathcote stable two nice options going into the Stradbroke. One on the pace, one coming from behind. It’s just a shame Rob didn’t have another one who could race midfield!

Woorim goes straight to the Stradbroke while Buffering tackles Hay List again this week in the Doomben 10 000.

This time I think we are going to try and ride him just behind the speed, just to give him the chance to see if he can finish off from that sort of position.

I think if we jump and try to lead or are up alongside Hay List (like we did when we had a real close-up look at him in the BTC Cup) we are probably a sitting duck and we might run fourth.

If we ride him a bit quieter early, we might have a better finish at the end.

With Border Rebel in the race, he is very fast and he might just stick it to Hay List early … hopefully … and you just never know.

Just a word about the Group 1, Doomben Cup win of Scenic Shot last Saturday.

What a great, honest campaigner Scenic Shot is! He just knows where the winning post is.

I had a good view of his run as I tracked him early aboard Triple Honour.

I was surprised when everything fanned on the corner. Whether it was the leader’s doing causing everything to do that, I don’t know, but the track played very fair. There was certainly nothing wrong with the inside.

So I was happy to track Shane into the race but, jeez, Scenic Shot is a good, old, honest horse and I just couldn’t stay with him. You’d like a few in the yard like him.

Obviously it gave Shane a massive thrill, especially with what he has had to go through recently and what he’s got coming up.

I made a bee-line for him at the back of the jockey’s room and shook his hand. I’m sure the win would have been quite a surreal moment for him. It was good to see.

So far the Carnival has produced Group 1 headline acts in the form of the outstanding, unbeaten champion Black Caviar through to the dogged determination of the tough-as-teak Scenic Shot … along with the human interest
story that has put the spotlight on his rider Shane Scriven in the last month.

There will be more drama to come, I’m sure.

Till next week,

More articles

Larry Cassidy
Larry Cassidy
What a great, honest campaigner Scenic Shot is. He just knows where the winning post is.
What a great, honest campaigner Scenic Shot is. He just knows where the winning post is.
I had to settle for two seconds in the Group races at Saturday. 

Dr Ichi gave his best but Free Wheeling was just too good ...
I had to settle for two seconds in the Group races at Saturday.

Dr Ichi gave his best but Free Wheeling was just too good ...
... while Listen Son did his usual good work but we had no answer to the flying finish of Woorim.
... while Listen Son did his usual good work but we had no answer to the flying finish of Woorim.
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